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Why is the Irish data centre industry booming?

06.02.20 · Construction News

Data centres are the physical backbone of the digital world. They run 24hrs a day processing an unending and ever-rising tide of data.  This data flow is not just for Ireland and not just for computers.  Irish data centres serve consumers and business clients across the UK and Europe and manage data for every device with the word ‘smart’ in front of it. it’s not just mobile phones, it’s everything from home heating systems to autonomous vehicles.

Ireland is Europe’s data centre capital and data centres have contributed more than €7 Billion to Ireland’s economy since 2010, with over €4 Billion benefiting the construction sector.  According to The Guardian there are already more than 50 data centres in the country, with big players such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon all having sites. It looks like there is no slowdown in sight for the sector with 10 more centres currently under construction and more than 30 with planning permission.

Ireland has been chosen due to its proximity to key markets, availability of infrastructure and a young, talented, multi-cultural workforce with strong technology skills. As a member of the EU and as the only English-speaking European country after Brexit, Ireland is perfectly positioned both geographically and culturally between the USA and Europe. Ireland also has one of the most reliable and robust grid systems in Europe with an abundance of renewable energy sources and a low probability of extreme weather or seismic activity such as tsunamis or earthquakes which could disrupt operations.

Speaking of weather, climate change has had a major impact on shaping data centre construction and technology, with innovation in energy efficient cooling systems and other energy efficient designs. New ‘green data centres’ focus on the use of renewable energies and waste recycling, and Amazon Web Services have announced the backing for a new windfarm in both Donegal and Cork, so that their Irish data centres can be entirely supplied by renewable energy.

Of course, while Ireland is a major hub for data centre growth in Europe, this is a global construction boom.  According to JLL there is currently 63.4 million square feet of data-centre space globally, and another 4.3 million square feet is under construction.

This is only the beginning, with the roll-out of 5G, quicker downloads and a seemingly never ending stream of data intensive entertainment platforms such as the new offerings from Apple and Disney, as well as an increased focus on video consumption within social media, the global  flow of data is set to grow exponentially.

From an employment point of view, the opportunities for rich, rewarding careers in the data centre sector are clear.  This is an interesting, innovative and highly profitable space to be working in, now and in the future.

Data centre projects are constantly searching for new talent to help them achieve their construction goals.  Vickerstock specialise in providing assistance to these projects by sourcing a wide range of skilled workers from Electrical BIM Engineers and Quantity Surveyors to Civil Design Engineers and Estimators.

If you would like to speak with a Senior Recruitment Consultant, who specialises in placing construction professionals into some of the largest data centre projects currently underway in Europe, please call Aimee McSorley on 01 6968388 or email aimee@vickerstock.ie.

Career consultancy worthy of referral.

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